* Colored paper for balloons
* String (I used embroidery floss)
* Tape or glue
* Marker or pencil
* Something to be the card (I used an old folder)
First, make the banner inside the card. Decide how big you'd like the triangles (which will spell out "Happy Birthday") and, using one triangle as a template, make 7 of one color and 6 of another.
Take your string and measure out how long you'd like the top and bottom to be. Keep in mind, the bottom will need to be a lot longer so as to droop down.
The easiest way I found to attach the triangles to the string was by making a small crease, folding it over, and taping the string to the back. It might not be pretty from the back but don't worry, no one will see it. Try to keep the same distance apart for all the triangles.
Now I suggest taping the strings to the card, not gluing, so you can make adjustments as you see fit. You'll be covering up the corners with balloons so don't worry if it looks messy.
Now that the banner is complete, it's time to make your balloons. Cut out many different sizes so there can be a range. I used a variety of things as templates: an aerosol can, a vitamins container, the inside of a tape dispenser, a coin. The more variety, the better.
If you want to go the extra mile, cut out a small triangle and attach it to the bottom of the circle to make it look more like a balloon. If you want to draw a small triangle on the front, it will make the balloons a little more cartoon-ish, which I liked. Be sure to attach your string before gluing/taping your balloon to the card.
I recommend making some of the balloons 3-D, so everything isn't flat behind the banner. To do this, I cut an index card into quarters, took a piece and folded it into thirds, and then folded the ends back. After taping down the ends, I was able to tape the big long piece you see here to the card, which made the balloon pop (no pun intended).
Try not to get your string tangled and I recommend tying them together at the bottom of the card. Decorate the front however you wish (my niece will be turning 3 soon so I played off of that) and enjoy the fact you didn't have to spend $10 on a big birthday card!
TOTAL COSTS: Free!
I already had some colored paper, colored index cards, and printer paper to make the balloons. I used scissors and tape (which everyone should have on hand), and the embroidery floss I purchased from a woman months ago for $1, but you could use string or even dental floss!
TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: 2 hours, 15 minutes
45 minutes to make the banner
30 minutes to cut all the circles
1 hour to apply all the balloons and string to the card
EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 1 out of 5
You could even have your little ones help, if you trusted them enough with scissors, to cut out the circles. But as I said, it's very easy to make, just very time consuming!